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Staging Your Office for 2011

Originally posted: January 2, 2011 on TrishMcFarlane.com

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the start of a new year, or maybe it’s because I just put away all the Christmas decor in my house.  It could be the fact that I’m watching a Sell This House! marathon.  Either way, it seems like a good time to make some subtle changes around here.  I plan to get over my fear of Craigslist (this could be a topic for another day) and try to sell off some of the old furniture that’s made it’s way through three of my houses.  Then, it will be off to the store to look at some kid-friendly furniture and dog friendly rugs.  I’m hoping for a result that will be clean and non-cluttered but that will still have that “homey” feel.

I also plan to give a similar make-over to my office tomorrow.   I moved into my office in March of 2010 and it’s still pretty sterile looking.  Whether you’ve been in your office for many years and need to de-clutter or whether you’re like me and just need to decorate, there are a few tips to make your space more livable and productive.

De-clutter. Remove all unnecessary paperwork and recycle.  Organize your essential files and make sure to restock any office supplies.

Add some personal photos.  There is a fine line between having too many and “just right”.  I’ve often heard that employees who are engaged will decorate their cubicle or office with family photos.  The more photos, the more likely the employee is engaged and intends to stay at the organization.  I think there is truth to this.  My only caution is to make sure that you don’t over do it and make it a distraction for your colleagues.  Three to four photos is a good rule of thumb.

Add art that is meaningful to you.  This is one I personally espouse.  I recommend taking the photos yourself and have them enlarged and framed for your space.  My office will be showcasing some photos of Chihuly glass that I made several years ago at the exhibition at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Desk accessories to make it truly functional. Almost goes without saying.  Being more organized with your space will help ensure you are able to focus more on the work at hand.

Add a plant or fish. This tip is not for everyone, but for those people who can take a couple extra minutes each day to care for a plant or fish, it will make the space you occupy for a majority of your time much more bearable.

So, what did I miss?  Is there something unique you’ve added to your workspace to make it more you?   Anything we should make sure NEVER to put in our office?  Share it in the comments.

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